Can Anybody Beat The No. 1 Ranked Hoosiers?

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Every season, everybody always wonders who will knock off the No. 1 ranked team.  This year, the No. 1 team is the Indiana Hoosiers and the answer to that question might just be nobody.

The Hoosiers handily beat the No. 14 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels last night 83-59. Indiana’s superstar, Cody Zeller, was nothing short of spectacular scoring 20 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

Zeller wasn’t alone though.  Both Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey added 19 points alongside Jordan Hulls who had 13 points and eight assists.

The well-balanced scoring might be what makes this Indiana team such a threat.  They move the ball better than any team in the nation and find the open player.  They set screens for each other, they cut off of each other and it is evident that nobody cares who scores as long as the ball goes through the net.

Despite the offensive success by the Hoosiers, the most notable thing about their game with the Tar Heels was their defense.  North Carolina was 1-20 to start the second half and Indiana took advantage of every stop they got.

Numerous times in the game, Indiana would secure the rebound and quickly throw it up the court to Zeller for an easy lay in.  Zeller may be a seven-footer, but he runs the floor like a guard.  North Carolina could not stop them in transition and when they did, the Hoosiers made a few quick passes and found the open guy on the perimeter for a three.

Indiana dictated from the start and exposed every error North Carolina made on defense.  Zeller’s ability to play on the perimeter allowed him to score from the inside and outside, but also opened the lane up for his teammates.

There are two words to describe this Indiana team: unselfish and humble.

They play within their system, execute offensively and defensively and make plays for each other.   They don’t excessively celebrate or flaunt after great plays.  They hustled throughout the game and dove on the floor even when they were up by 30.

These two attributes are hard to come by in a team loaded with athleticism.  If the Hoosiers keep playing this way, there is nobody in the nation that can compete with them.

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